Wednesday, June 25, 2014


"Those who expect to reap the blessing of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."

"It is he duty of the patriot to protect the country from its government."
~ Thomas Paine (1737-1809)


32 comments:

  1. Dolores Heinlein-PaineJune 25, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Nice selection, Mr. Freethinke!

    Paine is one of the few founders given the seal of approval by leftwing wackadoos, so we'll see what the likes of Ducky can find to carp about today!

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  2. Paine joined the French Revolution... but was a Girondist, much to the chagrin of "lefty" admirers.

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  3. You have become a PAIN in my ass.

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  4. If that is so, nothing could please me more, Anonymous.

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  5. "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." ~ Thomas Paine

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  6. Now, go write a Congressional letter to the IRS asking them to investigate your political opponents.

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  7. He wasn't talking about our American constitutional government, FreeThinke.

    And as for arms regulation, I doubt he'd support the craven irresponsibility of the gun nut crowd today.

    JMJ

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  10. "Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. The Rights of Man, Part 2, 1791

    More words of wisdom from Thomas Paine

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  14. Good to see you posting again, FT.

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  17. Now THIS is a point well wirth discussing:

    "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." ~ Thomas Paine

    I'm not sure I agree with that, although it's surprisingly CHRISTIAN in is call for self-sacrifice for the good of one's enemies.

    What do you suppose TP really means? How would you interpret his challenging observation?

    Do you think TP would advocate exhausing our supply of blood and treasure in a perpetual attempt to "liberate" the oppressed, enslaved people of every wretched dictatorship and primitive, backward society on earth?

    Wha do you think TP would recommend regarding Iraq, Iran, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Lybia and Sub-Saharan Africa, China, etc. today?

    Please T-H-I-N-K!!!before you speak.

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  18. Thank you, Ducky. Your good will and lighted candles have been much appreciated during this ongoing ordeal.

    At present I am working at about half speed, so you could say with considerable accuracy that these recent blog communications are "half-fast" at best. ;-}

    One hopes that trouble, when it comes, will work to improve one's character over the long haul.

    As a praying man, perhaps you'd be good enough to include that hope in your communications with the Almighty --along with a request for an improvement in your humble correspondent's disposition.

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  19. Jersey, you know I like you in spite of yourself, so I woulod wish ha you could develop more ability to understand that UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES are of paramount concern -- NOT myriad specifics.

    Thomas Paine -- like ALL significant philosophers -- was addressing ALL MANKIND in every age and every location.

    If we adhere to sound PRINCIPLES of personal conduct and strive to translate our devotion to all lhat's right and good to governance, we might have a real CHANCE at improving he world around us. Without PRINCIPLE, however, we have no chance whatsoever at living above the level of brute savagery or forever in bondage to the biggest bully on the block.

    Thomas Paine was in the business of clearly outlining PRINCIPLES applicable to all men at all times everywhere.

    In that regard he had much in common with Jesus Christ in whom Paine professed not to believe.

    Funny how things tend to work in mysterious ways, isn't it? ;-)

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  20. Wonderful to see you posting again, FT!

    Liberty does indeed require constant vigilance. Alas! Today most people are otherwise occupied.

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  21. Well, AOW, as Franklin said after announcing he birth of our Constitution, we can't take anything for granted in this world but Death and Taxes. ;-)

    That's what I love most about the Founding Fathers. They were highly idealistic, but eminently pragmatic at the same time -- always a rare combination, but more so today than ever -- or so it seems.

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  22. Hobbes had a profound grasp of principles that help shape the quality of one's personal experience with Reality, Ir's too bad he couldn't write worth a darn. He and George Washington had that failing in common. Their prose, if such i could be called, gets so tripped up in its underwear as to be virtually impenetrable by all save the most determined scholarly minds.

    On principle I would not trust anything emanating from the Frankfurt School -- a major source of much of the mental, moral, spiritual, philosophical and political Grief we suffer with today -- , and certainly not the thinking of anyone named Isaiah Berlin. (OY!)

    Sorry!

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  23. There's no need to trust everything you read. IB is worth the effort, in my opinion -- I second the recommendation.

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  24. Sir Isaiah Berlin was a chair at All Souls College, Oxford. He has nothing to do with the Frankfurt School. He was the leading voice of classical liberalism in the twentieth century. His "Four Essays on Liberty" are an enduring classical summation of his thought. His letter to George Kennan on the "inevitable" collapse of the Soviet Union was nothing less than "Divinely inspired".

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  25. What do you suppose TP really means? How would you interpret his challenging observation?

    Well FreeThinke first I would venture that as a complex and brilliant philosopher Paine deserves an in depth study OF all of his works.

    It is difficult to know what someone really means based on a quote only. Without fully knowing and understanding A philosophers full body of work it is at best just a best guess.

    "Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion;

    He was speaking to the realities of his time, which were manifest around the globe. Reason and enlightened thinking drove the founders to foment rebellion in the 13 colonies... his clause remains true yet today.

    and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think.

    True during Paine's time, true during times preceding the Age of Enlightenment, and certainly true today. Most notably demonstrated by the rhetoric of the TP Brigade, the Neocons, and the Republican party IMNHO.

    Creating fear in people makes them willing to act a manner(s) they otherwise would avoid, if their power to reason was not compromised by their fear. The powers in the Tea Party, the Neocons, and the Republicans know this and use it effectively to keep the faithful in line IMNHO.

    But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.

    Yep, spot on. Then, now, and forever.

    Eventually the truth finds it's way to the surface. When it does a new age of enlightenment and progress ensues for some time. Then, the darkness of ignorance slowly descends again, driven by the lust for influence, control, power, and eventually uncontrollable greed in those who succeed in accomplishing the first three.

    Paine is not just he appears to be when knowledge of him is limited to hand picked snippets from his writings or his famous quotes, at least not IMNHO.

    I sincerely hope my comments have been couched in acceptably right- wing political correctness enough to be published here. I have saved them for future publication elsewhere as I see fit should they disappear from print on this site.

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  26. What do you think TP would recommend regarding Iraq, Iran, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Lybia and Sub-Saharan Africa, China, etc. today?

    Ahh, geopolitical considerations were somewhat different back in 1790 FreeThinke but given most of the Founding Fathers and other rational thinkers of that era were very leery of and cautioned against foreign entanglements here is my answer to your inquiry:

    1) Paine would likely have been very supportive of democratic states like Israel. My sense is he would support robust trade relationships with countries who embraced democratic principles and whose governments placed the common good and the self interests of their people above their own interests and their own wealth.

    2) With respect to the rest of the middle east my sense is that were he alive he would view the situation as a regional issue and would advocate steering clear of involvement letting the people of the region and their governments sort out their own problems.

    3)My sense is that recognizing the cultural, language,and religious differences, as well as the much different traditions he would have approached relationships with the region much differently that the United States yas. Paine would have looked to establish relationships built more on an understanding of what the regions self interests were and less on how we might exploit the region for our own selfish and long term irrational interests. Simply put I believe Paine would advocate fostering, encouraging, and supporting a long term win-win relationship that was not based almost solely and exerting U.S. influence in the region.

    4) Ditto for the rest of the world.

    I believe Paine would advocate for a strong national defense always in a state of readiness but standing down... tread not on others. When real threats against our nation occur (as in an act of aggression against the nation and our people)the President goes to Congress and secures a proper Declaration of War. Then and Only Then do we go KICK ASS!

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  27. Do you think TP would advocate exhausting our supply of blood and treasure in a perpetual attempt to "liberate" the oppressed, enslaved people of every wretched dictatorship and primitive, backward society on earth?

    NOT!

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  28. Thomas Paine is oft quoted, especially by the Tea Party folks and Libertarians. Have yet to come by this quote being acknowledged, let alone discussed on the right wing blogs that typically praise Paine to high Heaven.

    “When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government. Independence is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good.” ― Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

    Then there is this little gem not often seen on the conservative boards.

    “What are the present governments of Europe, but a scene of iniquity and oppression? What is that of England? Do not its own inhabitants say, It is a market where every man has his price, and where corruption is common traffic, at the expense of a deluded people? No wonder, then, that the French Revolution is traduced.” ― Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

    Perhaps the above is fair warning to our own corrupt government bought by the influence of special interests and special interest mega money from billionaires such as the Koch brothers and others.

    Paine may very well turn out to be prophetic as well.

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  29. More Right Of Man quotes from Thomas Paine RIGHT HERE.

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  30. Signora Lala Palooza LaZonga Metcalfe-Shalakashvili-Delmonica-Lewinsky says

    Deeze bloak eace eeeeeeeeeneresingk! Varry varry eeeeeeeeeeneresingk!

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